• 09 Sep - 15 Sep, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Marsi Parker Darwin and husband Bill live on a Michigan no-kill farm with dogs, cats and various birds, including chickens, peacocks and ducks. Darwin vividly recalls the day 21 years ago when one of the chicken eggs that was supposed to hatch looked rotten, and had been abandoned by its mother hen.More than two decades after Peanut was peeled from her shell in 2002, she is still hanging out in Darwin's living room, often in her lap. And the bantam hen is now earning recognition: Guinness World Records has named her the world's oldest living chicken. "The average chicken lives five to eight years, so it's quite the achievement," said Darwin, 71, a retired librarian who lives in Chelsea, Mich., near Ann Arbor. "Peanut is a sassy little chicken – if she doesn't get her blueberry yogurt in the morning, I definitely hear about it," she said. She and her family celebrated Peanut's 21st birthday in May, but Darwin said she was still surprised her little hen was named the world's oldest chicken. The path to Peanut's world record designation started in spring 2022, when Darwin's friend Todd Gillihan – also a chicken enthusiast - urged her to submit an application to Guinness. Gillihan had read about the first Guinness World Records' oldest chicken, a hen named Matilda. She appeared on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" in 2004 when she was 14, and she died two years later at age 16.